Friday, July 04, 2008

Variations on My Country Tis of Thee, By Charles Ives

This is a remarkable piece of music written by Charles Ives, the Ives in Currier and Ives Ives & Myrick (Thanks for the correction, Joe Barron!), by the way. We played this piece in band in high school and it was my first introduction to modern orchestral music. It took "America" and twisted it from different perspectives. I was in love.

What is remarkable to me is that it was the first time I'd heard someone rearrange something so familiar and traditional into an abstract and eerie landscape. It made me feel like this was the right version of the song. It has flavors from different cultures, there is dissonance, kind of like the real America. As a country, we are less like a sacred hymn and more like a sacred carnival.

Grab some cotton candy and enjoy.


For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

-Nelson Mandela


  1. "... Charles Ives, the Ives in Currier and Ives, by the way."

    No. The Ives in Currier and Ives was James Merritt Ives, who lived from 1824 to 1895.

  2. That was very cool Flan, thanks for sharing it!

    And by the way, I wore that same outfit to my Jr. Prom. Sad, really...

  3. Oops! Thanks, Joe!

    I can totally picture that, SD!

  4. I am familiar with this piece - love it.

    And love the Liberace getup!

  5. Dude, didn'tcha get the email I sent?

    waaaaah :(

  6. SkyDad: do you still have it? That th' exact sort of thing I'd wear!!

    Very cool!! Very cool!!